Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Caps Win Game 7: Story and Pictures

Capitals 2, Rangers 1
Capitals win best of seven series, 4 games to 3

Amazing atmosphere at Verizon Center last night. I got there early to capture what I could with my camera. I was sitting center ice, section 400 and the entire night it was loud and red was everywhere!

The Caps battled back from a 3 games to 1 series deficit to force the deciding game. They were 1-5 all time in game seven's and 1-4 all time at home. When the Rangers took a 1-0 lead I was thinking could this happen to the Caps again? Back to back home game seven losses in the opening round of the playoffs?

Late in the third period, the crowd was as intense as any crowd I've seen in the 42 Capitals playoff games I've attended in my life as a fan of this team. The building was shaking and it was hard to take pictures. It's as if we were a stick of dynamite, lit and just waiting to go off.

Finally Caps fans got the chance to explode as the Caps veteran leader Sergei Fedorov skated across the blue line and launched the shot for the go ahead goal with 4:59 left! It reminded me of Fedorov in his prime for the Red Wings. He sensed the urgency of the situation and came through.

2-1 Caps! It was loud!

Still there was work to be done though. The clock was ticking ever so slowly, the Rangers were fighting for the equalizer but the Caps stymied them. I kept thinking when will the Rangers score? Whose skate will the puck bounce off of and into the net. Following this team in the post season for as long as I have, I've seen it happen just too many times.

Not last night.

When the clock struck :00 there was elation and joy among everyone. Folks high fived, hugged, screamed, threw hats in the air and just savored the moment. Below was my favorite picture in the Washington Post this morning.

Next up are the Pittsburgh Penguins. It will be a big challenge for the Caps, who have won just one playoff series out of six all time vs Pittsburgh. That was in the past. As last night proved to me, one can't dwell on that anymore.

My voice is still sore. I don't care. The Caps are still playing. I expect many more sore throats. Let's go Capitals!!!

Finally, here are my shots of the evening (Click to enlarge). I wish I got shots of the goals but everyone was up and the arena was shaking so it was tough. Enjoy!

One of the many signs mocking Rangers Coach John Tortorella

Channel 9 Sports Brett Haber reports before the game.

Caps Owner Ted Leonsis with his game face on.
Easily the coolest owner in sports.

Unfortunately I didn't hear the words
"Bill, come on in the suite and catch the game here"

Alex Ovechkin with the ice spray during warm ups.

My unsung hero of the series, Defenseman John Erskine.

Opening face-off. Game on!

Game action

Sergei Fedorov breaks a 1-1 tie late in the game!

Longest five minutes ever as the Caps defend.

So close, the place was loud and hopping!

Caps win!!!!

Celebration! First game 7 victory in 21 years!

Dejection. Not much else to say.
Fantastic effort by the Rangers.

Greatest tradition in sports.
The end of series handshake.

Varlamov and Lundqvist meet.

1 comment:

Dave Lifton said...

The ultimate rejection was that the Rags couldn't even get Lundqvist off the ice for the extra skater. The Caps kept it in the zone for all but the last few seconds.